and the clustered faces enclosed in that fading bulb of light
of which the torch was the centre, and beyond the cedar
boughs. The torch flame was reflected tinnily in his eyes.
"Gimme a knife, I can't get it off," the man at the boot
complained peevishly; " it's all stuck up and I can't get it off."
Another man pushed him aside, and began cutting at the
leather. The man who had been working at the boot raised
his o\vn hands into the torchlight, covered with blood and
muck, and with an expression of distrust and solicitude
inspected them, as though they, too, were wounded.
"I think-----" Benton Todd said, somewhat tiredly, not
looking at the men, " you better try to stop it."
They were putting a belt around the wounded thigh, which
was now naked. The blood welled out of the small puncture
there, and flowed darkly, but glintingly, over the white flesh.
They drew the belt as tight as possible, and they packed
handkerchiefs on top, and under the wound beneath, where
the bullet had entered. Two of the men had taken off their
shirts and were tearing them into strips. The handkerchiefs
soaked up the blood, soggily.
"Bent, Bent," Mr. Munn called, leaning. "Hey, Bent!
Laboriously, Benton Todd directed his gaze upon Mr.
Munn. Then Benton Todd moved his lips, dully. "That
blood," he said, " it came out of me."
Mr. Munn could not remember what he had intended to
say. Benton Todd's remote, incurious, gnomic gaze withdrew,
left him, sought again the darkness of the cedar boughs
Benton Todd bled to death while they leaned over him and
watched him. They could not stop the blood, which seemed
to well prodigally and inexhaustibly from that small aperture.
One of the men held his hand to Benton Todd's chest. He
straightened up, and said, " He's a goner." He looked at Mr.
"All right, aH right," Mr. Munn rejoined, as though